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Old 09-14-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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Stinkin Onan!!

How many people have issues with voltage regulators in their Onans? My unit is a 1989 emrald III and I just spent 330 bucks on a new regulator a couple months back, only to have it burn out this week while in southern Cal.
Thank goodness a friend of mine has the same genny and let me borrow his regulator to get us back home to Vegas. I have heard that Onan regulators were junk and to go with a flight systems unit but good lord, I would expect it to last longer than 2 months!
I bet they will give me crap about replacing it too, something along the lines of. "If we didnt install it, we wont warranty it."

Sorry just had to vent, anyone else in the same boat?
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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We had a problem with the voltage regulator on our Onan. This was after owing the coach for six years and the the age on the unit was nine. Was repaired in Grand Rapids, Mi. No problem since. I have been using the generator for work on the coach for the past two months with no problems. Starts fine and runs ok. Maybe you got a bum board. Try talking to your repair shop to see if you can get some assistance with replacing. Onan is a good company, with good products. Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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Here's another source: Control Board replaces Onan 300-2784, 300-2943, etc. : A.S.A.P.

And, I just bought a new 4K Onan after the rotor shorted on our original at under 500 hours use. Rotor & Stator replacement was $2200 several years back on a different RV, so it didn't make sense to throw this amount at a 13 year old generator. I try to buy American but, if Honda ever gets in the business of installed RV generators, Onan might be in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas39 View Post
How many people have issues with voltage regulators in their Onans? My unit is a 1989 emrald III and I just spent 330 bucks on a new regulator a couple months back, only to have it burn out this week while in southern Cal.
Thank goodness a friend of mine has the same genny and let me borrow his regulator to get us back home to Vegas. I have heard that Onan regulators were junk and to go with a flight systems unit but good lord, I would expect it to last longer than 2 months!
I bet they will give me crap about replacing it too, something along the lines of. "If we didnt install it, we wont warranty it."

Sorry just had to vent, anyone else in the same boat?
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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I've had a lot of grief with our Onan, all of it electrical. I've replaced every control module/board on it. It's been working fine now this summer. It seems that it's finally fixed. (I hope saying that doesn't jinx it.)

I had bad luck trying to deal with Cummins/Onan for support and parts. I ended up using the folks at ASAP, as George recommended. They are very knowledgeable, very helpful, with good product, and a lot better pricing than Onan.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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We had 3 coaches with Onans and never a problem. Non use and no maintenance are the biggest enemy of a generator.

If you want problems, get a Gene-a-wreck, aka Generac.

Ken
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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If you are burning out regulators, I suspect there is some other problem causing it. extreme high voltage? Bad slip rings? I'm shooting in the dark here, but any power regulator has a range of input that it can handle and power outside that range is probably going to destroy it. It may be time to get professional help.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
If you are burning out regulators, I suspect there is some other problem causing it. extreme high voltage? Bad slip rings? I'm shooting in the dark here, but any power regulator has a range of input that it can handle and power outside that range is probably going to destroy it. It may be time to get professional help.
You hit the nail on the head Gary. Voltage regulator problems like this are 98% caused by another problem that needs to be corrected. Onan is one of the best on the market and like all equipment need some TLC once in a while. The TLC needs to be done by a "Qualified Technician".
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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It is true that the aftermarket boards are usually heavier and more durable than the old OEM design. Having said that, a new OEM board should provide reasonable service.

It's possible that you were supplied a defective or damaged regulator. It happens. I doubt you'll be able to talk warranty. I would get another regulator from ASAP, do some diagnostics, test and clean the slip rings, check the brushes.

It might be a good time to purchase the Onan service manual for your generator. I think ASAP sells them. I used my service manual to guide me through all the diagnostics and procedures for doing all the work on my generator.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:56 AM   #9
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It is true that the aftermarket boards are usually heavier and more durable than the old OEM design. Having said that, a new OEM board should provide reasonable service.

It's possible that you were supplied a defective or damaged regulator. It happens. I doubt you'll be able to talk warranty. I would get another regulator from ASAP, do some diagnostics, test and clean the slip rings, check the brushes.

It might be a good time to purchase the Onan service manual for your generator. I think ASAP sells them. I used my service manual to guide me through all the diagnostics and procedures for doing all the work on my generator.
I cleaned the slip rings and replaced the brushes when I installed the new regulator, rpm was set properly also. My biggest feeling is I just got a bad regulator, who knows.

I just ordered a flight systems regulator, as I've heard of people having less problems with them.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:59 AM   #10
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Here's another source: Control Board replaces Onan 300-2784, 300-2943, etc. : A.S.A.P.

And, I just bought a new 4K Onan after the rotor shorted on our original at under 500 hours use. Rotor & Stator replacement was $2200 several years back on a different RV, so it didn't make sense to throw this amount at a 13 year old generator. I try to buy American but, if Honda ever gets in the business of installed RV generators, Onan might be in trouble.
Onan told my uncle a few years back when his onan was throwing sparks, that he needed the same rotor and stator replacement and funny enough, it was about the same 2200 bucks that you mention.
He ended up taking it to an electric motor shop and had whatever in there rebuilt for less than 300 dollars!
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